Surrogate births are slowly becoming a common phenomenon. The Yashoda group of hospitals recently launched a new test tube baby and surrogacy center in New Delhi’s Malviya Nagar. For childless couples, it’s good news, but the future of the surrogate child could be bleak.
One of my senior colleagues, Sonia, wants a baby. After four years of marriage, she is looking forward to have a child. During a conversation, I was shocked to hear her views on pregnancy. Pregnancy is a waste of time, she said. It is painful and more often than not, women are never the same again. She says her attractive figure is very important to her and pregnancy will ruin it. She wants to go for surrogacy, rather than becoming pregnant for nine months. She did not want to go through the hormonal changes, which might affect her upcoming promotion at her job.
There are so many reasons why surrogacy is bad news.
A surrogate child is destined for an insecure future. Imagine the heartache and disappointment when the child discovers that he wasn’t born naturally, when he or she finds out that his birth involved a different mother. He might feel deceived.
There is also the question of ethics. Why do childless couples want a surrogate baby only? Is it to ensure that their children are genetically related to them and are almost their carbon copies? Why don’t unproductive couples go for adoption? There are so many children with no family and home, why not show them love?
What about the mother who played host to someone else’s child? Surrogate mothers have been known to accept the trend for monetary purposes. Abuse of poor women, who might be tempted to go through the pain, is the most neglected aspect of the whole game. Isn’t is also inherently undignified to become pregnant for money? If the motivation is commercial, we know its not right!
Surrogacy could lead to incestuous behavior, too. There is a very high probability that the child might end up marrying another child of the surrogate mother, a child who was a guest in her womb for only nine months. Although there is no genetic relationship, the married couple would be brother and sister!
Inheritance is another grey area. Is there a provision in law that allows the surrogate child to have any right to become heir to his birth mother, or not? Also, isn’t meddling with a natural process an infringement of God’s will?
There are women who desperately want to give birth to children despite having medical issues. There are also people who blindly follow celebrities like Gauri Khan and Kiran Rao. There is no harm in wanting to maintain a great figure, to be called a hot mom, but certainly not at the cost upsetting the biological cycle! Having a baby of your own is a blessing and we need to earn this by going through all the pain that would come during pregnancy.
Empowered women like Gauri Khan and Kiran Rao have the means to raise their surrogate children, but will they have the time? Only time will tell. Will Abram be treated as equal to his other two normally-produced siblings? Surrogacy is the easiest way to escape the pain and hardships of pregnancy, like weight loss, losing hair and sleep deficit. But to take that route is filled with foreseen perils.